Today is, of course, April Fool's Day. Or as I like to think of it, Ashton Kutcher's Christmas!
No, gentle readers, I will not spend today trying to trick you into believing that YH is really a front for an alien army bent on collecting the world's finest human specimens to take back to our home planet and overthrow our evil Intergalactic Dictatorship... (or ARE we??) Instead, I will take this time to address the question of WHY? Why oh why do we have a day designated in our calendar each year that makes it okay for people to bring the funny at others' expense?
The origins of AFD are rather murky. The earliest recorded incidents of people having too much fun for their own good on this date go way, way back to the 1500s! You see, back in the day, April 1 was New Year's Day, at least in France. Then, one day, King Charles IX decided to change it to January 1. No, THAT wasn't the joke...
Charles IX: The OG Pranksta?
What happened was, because most folks didn't have high-speed Internet or CNN back then, the news didn't get around very quickly. And once it did, people weren't any quicker to adjust to the change. So, what happened to them? They were publicly shamed, of course! Mocked, humiliated, pantsed, etc. Et voilà! An international holiday is born!
There are other theories out there about the origins of the holiday, mostly about the weather -- not nearly as fun as people getting mocked for celebrating New Year's four months too late.
So, thanks to those pranksters in France 500 years ago, be sure to take extra caution today when doing everyday things such as sipping that cup of coffee your smirking intern just brought you or agreeing to open a can of peanuts for someone. DO NOT OPEN THE PEANUTS!!!!